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Memorial Service Set for KATU Veteran Kirby BrumfieldBonnie King Salem-News.com In Memoriam
Kirby Earnest Brumfield, Jr
(PORTLAND, Ore.) - Kirby Earnest Brumfield, Jr, a "one-of-a-kind, multi-talented man", was born in Coos Bay, Oregon to Kirby and Delphene Brumfield on Feb. 06, 1932.
Soon thereafter, his parents purchased a dairy farm on Sauvies Island which the family operated. Along with farming, Kirby pursued sports, debate and drama. He was a proud graduate of Scappose High School.
Kirby caught the acting bug in the 4th grade but was told to have a back-up-plan in case acting "did not pan out."
Brumfield earned a BS in Agricultural Economics at Oregon State University (OSU), an MS in Agricultural Journalism at University of Wisconsin, he studied advanced filmmaking at University of Southern California, and he was awarded an honorary PhD from OSU.
In 1957, he met and married Mena Montemore Faro, in Wisconsin.
In 1962, Kirby Brumfield signed on with Portland's KATU Channel 2 as Director of Agricultural Programming, the station's first weatherman, and he was the first voice to come over the air.
He also hosted KATU's talk shows, "Good Morning," "Midday," "Down to Earth," and "Youth in Agriculture." As a journalist, he interviewed a multitude of Hollywood stars. He approached subjects with consideration and intrigue, and shared this contagious fascination with his audience.
As an actor, he was cast in many prime time TV shows including The Green Hornet (1966), Batman (1966) and 12 O'Clock High (1964), as well as Jessie James, FBI, and General Hospital.
From 1975 until retirement he worked in Public Relations for PGE. He was an accomplished author, writing "This Was Wheat Farming", and "Wheat Album."
He was a popular personality, and often gave commencement speeches. In 1977, he was invited to Dayton High School's graduation ceremony.
The knowledgeable and clever keynote speaker gave a brief opening introduction, then turned to the graduates standing behind him on the stage. He said, "In the future, you will not remember what I say here today. You may not even remember who spoke today. But, you will remember this."
Then he pulled out a handful of dollar bills and handed one to each graduating senior. Every one laughed, and he resumed his position at the podium where he finished his very entertaining presentation.
I didn't graduate that year, but I was there, and I haven't forgotten those dollar bills. I wonder if the seniors recall what else he had to say.... I do not. He was right on target, not much of a surprise.
His life-long love of acting and his faith compelled him in many biblical-based performances throughout the United States. Kirby and Mena traveled often and made memories in Brazil, Canada, China, India, and Israel. Kirby was especially proud to summit Mt Kilimanjaro at age 71. After retirement they moved to McMinnville.
Kirby Earnest Brumfield, Jr died July 21, 2016 at the age of 84.
He is survived by daughter Lee B. Faro, son Kirby Brumfield, granddaughters Emma, and Katie, sister Maryle Larson, brother-in-law Peter Larson and niece Dana Boote.
Kirby's family invite his friends and former colleagues to attend his Memorial Celebration:
May Kirby "enjoy the encore as he entertains the angels".
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